Essential Oils Vs. Fragrance Oils
What is the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each? When should you use each of them? To finance the time and research that goes into this blog we do use amazon links.
The positive benefits of essential oils
Essential oil have lots of benefits since they are the essence from nature. Plants, fruits, and herbs used to make them. So they are the more natural choice when it comes to scent. They are great to use for skin care products that want is more “natural”. Aromatherapy is definitely a thing. Essential oils like tea tree are great for acne, psoriasis, dandruff and general healing properties.
Natural is a problematic word.
Natural means different thing to different people but in the Oxford English Dictionary it means a “person or thing having a natural, unaltered, or unrefined quality or attribute. A natural thing or object; something having its basis in the natural world or in the usual course of nature. In modern use: a natural product, a product that has not been processed or manufactured.” I take this to mean if nature doesn’t create it then it is not natural. It is made with natural ingredients but if I created it, it is not natural. It has (especially in advertising) meant that the product hasn’t undergone chemical changes or is not manufactured in a lab.
There are plenty of things that are made in labs that are extremely beneficial like soap. Soap does not occur in nature it is a chemical process made using lab equipment (even if that la equipment is not designated as lab equipment, a bowl and a mixing flask serve the same purpose). There are also things that nature creates that are toxic and horrifying. For example, the different snake venoms or spider venoms are not something you would want to rub on your skin.
The Drawbacks of Essential Oils
Some of the drawbacks of using essential oils are that many of them are not recommended topically by themselves. They need a carrier oil which if you are using them in skin care products you are probably diluting them, but you must make sure to dilute them enough and thoroughly mix them into the carrier oil. You don’t want undiluted materials in your skin care product.
Another problem is that some are not recommended for use around dogs, babies, or pregnant women. Of course anything in excess is bad, even water can kill you if there is too much of it (drowning).
You also need to look at where you get your essential oils and the quality of them. While I have nothing against the oils themselves from young living and Doterra I do seriously have a problem paying so much for them to use them in soap. If I were to I would have to charge way more for a bar. Also I know that Young living is against you using their products to make other products and selling them. I recommend Plant Therapy. Their oils are a lot less money and a very high quality.
Another negative is that more essential oil needed to make the same scent as a fragrance oil. This can prove expensive very quickly and many essential oils have low flash points. So in soap or other processes where heat is involved you must use caution because if you add the essential oil to soap and it then goes through gel phase (which can get pretty hot) then you lose your scent and just wasted the essential oils. Flash points are important and effect fragrance oils too, but not to the same degree.
To prevent the scent from degrading in soap
I recommend putting the essential oils you are going to use in Indian Healing Bentonite Detox Clay – 16 oz 100% Natural Powder Face Mask Reduces Acne – Aztec Organic Deep Pore Cleansing – All Natural for Skin & Hair Removes Toxins Premium Nature before making your soap. I use about a tablespoon clay to about 20 drops of essential oil. Then I put them together in a small covered bowl the day before then just add to the soap the next day. It is still heat sensative so add once soap has cooled if hot processing and after trace if cold processing.
Fragrance oils offer a great variety of scents to choose from and hold the scent better. A lot of times an essential oil will fade as the soap cures. Fragrance oils are less expensive and you do not need as much of them most of the time. There are a vast array of choices out there some of which are naturally derived some of which are generated in a lab. Personally for soap I try to stick with Fragrance oils. For other products like bath bombs, lotion bars, lip balms, etc. I willuse either an essential oil or a fragrance oil depending on what I am going for.
For valentines day I uses a lot of champagne and roses and other flowery scents. If you have ever priced out flowery essential oils you will be astounded (young living charges $250.00 for 5 mL of rose essential oil) so I used a lot of fragrance oils. For natural plain jane creams and lotions though I use essential oils.
The only drawback of fragrance oils is that most are not “natural” they are made in a lab. There are some that are a blend of essential oils and fragrance oils if you choose to go that path.
What do you like and dislike about essential oils? fragrance oils?